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Questions asked on university lectureship interviews

In the past months, I have been on a couple of interviews. I have collected a number of questions that are asked on interviews for university lectureship positions. They are quite generic, even though these ones focus on computer science, which was the position I was focusing on. They include questions I was asked as well as the questions that people told me they were asked on their interviews. Even though in the end, I have decided to move the industry position, I think these questions may be useful for future reference and help some people prepare for their interviews.

It is important to mention that most interviews that I was on asked me to make a presentation about myself, projects and/or teaching I would like to be doing. For example, I was asked to design a new course for a certain program, propose assessment and how it relates to my research.

Here are the questions:

  1. How do you know that the students are learning from you? How do you access students’ understanding and progress in your teaching?
  2. Do you know what is the Teaching Excellence Framework? Do you know? Do you know what is the National Student Survey and how the University can utilize it?
  3. What are your key research interests?
  4. What venues and journals would you go for publishing your research?
  5. What techniques, approaches, and strategies will you use to realize your ambition?
  6. What is the topic of your first grant? What would you apply for funding with?
  7. What new opportunities would you bring to the University?
  8. How do you see the collaboration with Ph.D. students? Why would you take on Ph.D. students? What is the key to collaboration with them?
  9. What are your strategies to explain your research to non-computer scientists? How would you explain your research to 6 years old?
  10. How can you make your lectures more valuable than a video?
  11. What kind of service roles would you take?
  12. How are you achieving leadership?
  13. If you were to be here for 30 years and looked back on what you’ve done, what would a successful career look like?
  14. What is your research vision for this post? Where do you see your research going over the next few years and how does it fit this post?
  15. What makes you unique? What would you say is your main technical competence?
  16. How do you adapt your work to continue scaling for big data? Especially, given, for example, that there may be no much faster processors?
  17. What funding schemes are you going to apply for?
  18. This is an interdisciplinary post. How do you work across disciplines? Can you elaborate?
  19. Who are the main competitors in these areas? What groups and institutions is your research competing against?
  20. How does your research fit in the current research of this institution? Whom from this institution would you like to collaborate?
  21. What do you think about bio/nature-inspired approaches? How do they compare to traditional approaches that are not inspired by biology or nature?
  22. How will you change the world?
  23. Why are you doing research in your area?
  24. What is the cost of your research? How much research associates, Ph.D. students and computational equipment you would ideally need to sustain a good group? How would you meet these costs?
  25. How do you see your own research group develop in terms of areas of research, number of Ph.D. students, research associates, etc.?
  26. How do you evaluate the ethics of your research? Do you know what are the formal ways to evaluate the ethics of certain research within an institution such as this?
  27. How would you evaluate your impact in the next 5 years? What are you expecting to be the impact of your research and how would you achieve it?
  28. What is really novel in your research/approach?
  29. What is Industry 4.0?
  30. What contribution are you most proud of?
  31. Who would you collaborate outside of this institution? How that will contribute to your research and the impact it makes?
  32. How would you achieve funding diversity?
  33. What will you do to make outreach and publicize your research?

This is the main list. Please leave questions you were asked in the comment section, so we can together make a comprehensive list of interview questions for University positions.

Born in Bratislava, Slovakia, lived in Belgrade, Serbia, now living in Manchester, UK, and visitng the world. Nikola is a great enthusiast of AI, natural language processing, machine learning, web application security, open source, mobile and web technologies. Looking forward to create future. Nikola has done PhD in natural language processing and machine learning at the University of Manchester where he works at the moment.

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